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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles


  • Crisis Report - Issue 209
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    August 07, 2013

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    ZEC ignored civil society call

    The Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU) has said that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was aware of the problems that hampered the credibility of the 2013 harmonized elections after being warned by civil society. There were no efforts to address the issues raised until the Election Day, causing split views on the credibility of the election, RAU said.

    Tony Reeler, the director of RAU, was speaking at the Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) organized public discussion on July 31 elections post mortem held at the SAPES Trust in Harare on Tuesday, August 6.

    RAU said there would be strong doubts that the 2013 harmonized election met the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections and the African Charter on democracy, elections and Governance until ZEC released all the information related to the election for a transparent audit.

    “We have gone from crisis back to crisis in my view. We now have split views about the acceptability of our elections and that is a very sad outcome after painful five years under the stewardship of an inclusive Government.

    “A couple of steps are really important in the immediate weeks if you want to deal with this crisis. Firstly, there must be urgent release by ZEC of the electronic voters’ roll. We need to be able to see whether all those observations by everybody were cured by the final voters’ roll. And we hope that the copy that will be given corresponds directly with the hard copy of the voters’ roll,” he said.

    RAU said if the voters’ roll was released many allegations raised about the vote could fall away, or be confirmed, helping to have informed views on the credibility of the elections.

    Reeler said: “there must be the release of all the information related to the voting, the number of people turned away, the number of people assisted, the number of people voting by slip, et cetera. This is data which was collected during the elections.”

    RAU said release of critical information related to the elections could be what bodies like the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) are waiting for to make their final assessment.

    Speaking at the same meeting, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Spokesperson and former legislator Douglas Mwonzora said the party would address its concerns about the harmonized elections through constitutional channels.

    Mwonzora said his party was aware that the new constitution did not prohibit protests demonstrations and was not making it a secret to Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) which ostensibly won a two-thirds majority that they would consider taking that route.

    In a message directed to AU and SADC, Mwonzora said: “There must not be a different standard for our elections. If an election is unfair it is unfair and it is not credible.

    “The message we are sending to Africa is that a peaceful election is not free and fair one,” he said, adding: “The MDC will pursue the constitution and the law. The law allows us to demonstrate.”

    Goodwill Masimirembwa of Zanu-PF said his party had won the polls and warned the MDC.

    “We do not want inflammatory language, people pretending we are in Egypt or Tunisia,” he said.

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